We need to think of photography in a world of a digital image technology that has being ever more widely assimilated into photographic practice and many other areas of art, design and media and which makes it technologically possible to produce images which have the appearance of traditional chemical photographs by digital means. If we do, then we realise that there is no single thing called photography but, instead, that there are many ‘photographies and that the history of the different kinds of photography is also a history of image manipulation’. For instance, the straight photography of documentary and journalism is a genre that has its own history, politics, and institutional framework of the press and broadcasting. This genre stands in contrast to the political photomontages of the Dadaists and John Heartfield, or the use of photographs for propaganda purposes.
My scoping whilst walking the city indicates that the very process of producing a single photographic image – the passage from the brief opening of the camera’s shutter trained on an object or event in the physical world to a completed and exhibited or reproduced print – is a complex process within which a great deal of mediation, construction and manipulation takes place. Manipulation is integral to photography and hence there is a continuity between a chemically based photography and a digital one.